On December 13, 2021, the Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Nigeria and Vision Africa (VA) convened a group of prominent Nigerian leaders from various ethnoreligious backgrounds in a strategic meeting on the many security challenges currently affecting Nigeria. Held in the capital of the Nigerian capital of Abuja, the program worked to establish a common ground for all Nigerians to work toward sustainable peace and development.
The roundtable discussion addressed the perennial ethnic, communal, and religious feuds ranging from banditry, Boko Haram, and secessionist sentiments challenging the Nigerian nation. The event brought together key political elites, faith leaders, and traditional rulers of various ethnic, religious, and regional backgrounds.
The International President of the Global Peace Foundation, Mr. James P. Flynn, also welcomed the group in remarks delivered virtually.
Participants in the event expressed optimism and a willingness to further engage for positive dialogue, peace, and security for all Nigerians.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the former President of Nigeria and the Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR), commended GPF and VA for organizing this timely event. He emphasized that “unless we agree that we are Nigerians first, we will not get it right.”
Joseph Langmane, Representative of the Executive Governor of Plateau State, stated that the program complements the efforts of the Plateau State as they had already established several institutions to prevent violent conflicts and promote peace in the State.
The Hon. Jonathan Asake, while acknowledging that there “many peace talks are a mirage,” expressed that “with these fruitful deliberations, I am optimistic that we would make [a] positive impact different from previous interventions.”
The Sultan of Sokoto, His Royal Highness, Dr. Saad Abubakar, Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Gum, and Bishop Dr. Sunday Ndukwo Onuoha were among the many prominent leaders who participated in the program.
Acknowledging the underlying issue of identity at the root of many of the current conflicts in the nation, key leaders agreed to work together regardless of their differences. The program concluded with participants expressing their commitment to continue the dialogue and engage in other ways.